Testing the Tolerance of Heart.
I was watching the news on television this morning. A young man out walking his pup was attacked by another passerby. “I didn’t like the way he looked,” the assailant later confided. “Up to no good, I’m telling ya,” he said.
The victim was later identified a community leader and advocate for disadvantaged youth. His days were comprised of much smaller actions yielding a far greater good. In the past week alone, he had offered uniforms and lunches for those children whose parents were unable to provide.
And, not for the glory – my goodness, no. Rather, more simply, because it was the right thing to do. But now he lay, clinging to life. Why?
Because, “I didn’t like the way he looked…”
In our teachings, we focus on the essence of love and its transformative spirit. Though, how often do we exercise the energy of tolerance? “I’m a Buddhist until I get behind the wheel of a car,” a friend of mine once said. And, he was right – my ‘burning ears’ will surely bear testimony.
The truth is, every moment is a test of our tolerance. Our emotions, our fears, our past experiences – each defining our interaction within this space. We may say or act a certain way, sometimes not truly reflective of our beliefs or spirit. Emotions trigger reaction, while tolerance coaxes heart.
Though there may be vast differences between us all, still we strive for a shared understanding; a unity beyond race, culture, class and virtue.
“If we cannot end now our differences,” President John F. Kennedy once shared. “at least we can help make the world safe for diversity. For, in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal.”
Perhaps then, our practice should include a testing of heart? That we may learn to engage tolerance even in these more trying of times.
In peace, my loves…